Uber Google and other tech employees form Coalition of Black Excellence


When black employee resource groups from a variety of tech companies come together, black magic happens. More specifically, black excellence happens.

The Coalition of Black Excellence Week, spearheaded by Uber Litigation Counsel Angela Johnson in collaboration with black ERGs from over 40 tech companies like Facebook, Google, eBay, Lyft and Microsoft, kicks off this Monday in the San Francisco Yay (Bay) Area.

The idea for CBE Week came in part from Johnson’s experiences living in Washington D.C., and being able to attend events put on by the Congressional Black Caucus, she told me at Uber’s headquarters this week.

“When I moved out to the Bay Area, I really wished there were similar types of experiences for tech,” Johnson said. “And I thought if we could bring together different black ERGs, or diversity and inclusion committees, or people who were interested in some of the issues the black community is passionate about, a lot of positive change and impact could come from that.”

CBE Week entails a series of 14 events designed to promote black excellence, establish community among people of color and support non-profit organizations. Some of the events include Wise and Woke: Wellness for the Black Community, organized by Zendesk’s people of color ERG group, a viewing of “Hidden Figures” at Twilio, a moderated conversation with SuperPhone founder Ryan Leslie at Google and the Black Joy Parade in Oakland.

For the events that charge money, companies have committed to donating a portion of the proceeds to non-profit organizations like BUILD, Oakland Digital, Level Playing Field Institute and Yes We Code.

The event Uber’s black employee resource group, Uber Hue, is specifically spearheading is the CodeBlack Tech Gala, which will recognize leaders in the black community, like Blavity co-founder and CEO Morgan DeBaun and 500 Startups Partner Monique Woodard. Once the week wraps up, the plan is to hit the ground running for next year, Johnson said.